Saturday, 11 December 2010

Beach Colours, Short Days, Shore Vistas.

Even the mucky brown mashed spiral wrack looks and smells good; look at how the low winter sun, just a few days off the winter solstice enhances colours along the shore line at Greencastle, County Down .And, depending on which direction the weather is coming from, if the air is damp or not, the time of day, this same vista will look different every time. I walked along this way today trying to remember the name of a painter who worked entirely in browns; here's a place he might be interested in. If you are an observant type of soul, and did the same walk you might just be able to conjure up in your mind the possibilities of working with such limitations.

Spiral wrack is common brown seaweed, tons and tons of it have accumulated here with the recent storms and high tides.Fifty years ago it would have been collected by farmers to spread on the fields where the potato crop was to be grown. I suggest  to my husband that we might gather up a few black plastic bags as our vegetable patch has been disappointing this past two years. He is against it as we are down wind from Sellafield nuclear power station, fearing the contamination, but who knows, it's probably too late.

This belt of rich brown on close examination is full of colour: yellow ochre, olive green, leather brown, Vandyke brown, sage, and the wetness glints and gleams like amethyst, topaz and jet. All worked off a brown palette? I think- too technical for me- but my current oil painting I have going of this shore is shaping up in an interesting way with the introduction of red and purple hues.I have used pure yellow ochre for the sand and grey black and white for the stones. It doesn't sound very subtle but the contrast of the unmixed colours sets off the subdued but rich tones within the brown wrack.

Some of the stones are mourne granite, it's full of black crystals.Black is not as dark as it sounds, a polished black surface when lit up by the sun reflects an amazing amount of light.Next time you're watching the news and there is a shot of the front door of 10 Downing Street, observe how that black paint absolutely gleams.A piece of mourne granite, observed in the same detail as common wrack, is sufficient material for an individual blog.Here's some pictures of today's walk to keep you going until I post.
Mill Bay and the Mourne Mountains.
Middle shore, Greencastle.
Close-up, middle shore Green Castle.
Trick of low light, Green castle.

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